From the first IS Conference to Upswell: How we got from there to here

From the first IS Conference to Upswell: How we got from there to here

// By Jacqueline Brennan

/ By Kristina Gawrgy Campbell /

At this point, it should come as no surprise that Upswell has its roots in the Independent Sector Conference. What may surprise you is how much of Upswell harkens back to the very founding of Independent Sector and its mission and purpose.

In 1979 when two organizations merged to create Independent Sector and a report was published to outline its new purpose, one attribute definitely stands the test of time.

“We see the new entity as that ‘meeting ground,’ where the diverse elements in and related to the independent sector can comfortably come together to discuss common purposes, learn how to perform better, and use their opportunities to contribute to the common pursuits of research, public education, and relationship with government.”

And so here we are. For nearly 40 years, Independent Sector has brought together diverse changemakers from all sectors in different cities around the country. We have highlighted the best of civil society while bringing in notable guests and speakers.

In fact, the conference has always brought together the most impressive minds from the charitable community, government, and business sectors to find ways to mobilize and catalyze for social change.

So in many ways the tradition lives on.

Upswell takes that “meeting ground” concept to a new, exciting level with a focus on actionable steps toward problem solving. We’re taking the best parts of Independent Sector annual meetings, adding a lot of new elements, and working throughout the year to engage people like you in the places where you are working to make a difference. Upswell will include periodic and regional Labs and other engagement opportunities to culminate in the gathering on November 14-16 in Los Angeles. We can’t wait to see you there!

Kristina Gawrgy Campbell is director of strategic communications and public relations at Independent Sector.

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